By Allison Collins
OTEGO – Roughly 40 Unatego community and board of education members were divided Tuesday night during a special meeting to discuss language in the district’s forthcoming request for proposal (RFP).
Once distributed, the RFP will hopefully yield prospective buyers for the now-vacant Otego Elementary building.
Discussion Tuesday turned on whether to include the land surrounding the building (16.7 acres total) in the RFP, or restrict a potential sale to the building and only that land necessary for its operation.
In a four-to-three vote, BOE members dismissed Resolution 4.1 (which proposed including all land in the sale).
BOE President James Salisbury commented: “I am not in favor of letting all the land go with this. The land will not go with the deal at this point.”
Resolution 4.2, which carried with five yeas, stipulates that “more or less” of the property’s 16.7 acres may be included in the sale.
Superintendent Dr. David Richards said survey lines will be digitally redrawn early next week to denote the specific boundaries of such a parcel. Most likely, he said, this option would see the parking lot, a portion of the baseball field and the septic and leach field included with sale of the building.
The third resolution, which also received five yeas, would convey any land not included in the sale of the building to the Town of Otego for the cost of $1, to hold for “town purposes.”
Interest from the Town Board of Otego is yet to be determined. That board next meets May 9 at 6 p.m.
Champions of keeping the land – for its value to the community, young people and Unatego athletics – argued that control of the property was owed to Otego taxpayers and vital to the town’s future.
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